“Fury as jihadi bride’s legal fees are paid by taxpayers”
The Daily Mail of course. Furious no doubt that judges get salaries that are paid by tax payers, that the Old Bailey gets its roof fixed with funding from tax payers, and that we have a whole system of justice anyway, and an independent judiciary, when all malefactors could be fingered and lynched by the Daily Mail editor, journalists and commenters.
It always astonishes me that the Daily Mail, which gets so angry with the unpatriotic, decries one of the things that Britain can be proud of, that is, the rule of law.
…this morning, the Daily Mail, in a headline which may stand out as the apotheosis of journalistic legal ignorance, announced:
“Shamima Begum is on legal aid despite being stripped of UK citizenship”.
In much the same way that the people I prosecute and defend are granted legal aid despite being accused of criminal offences. Or diabetes patients are treated on the NHS despite having diabetes.
The Secret Barrister goes all Magna Carta:-
Everybody – no matter what they have done or are alleged to have done – is entitled to equal treatment before the law. That is the building block not only of the rule of law, but of our entire democracy. You don’t earn equal treatment, or qualify for it through good behaviour. It applies universally. The day we start making exceptions for the people who offend us the most is the day our civilisation crumbles.
Everybody is also entitled to a fair hearing where a legal decision has been taken which affects them. The removal of a person’s citizenship – a government telling a British-born citizen You have no right to exist within our borders – is one of the most far-reaching decisions the state can make. We do not want to live in a country where politicians can act with unchecked power; the rule of law requires that those affected have a route to challenge a decision and have an independent court review the evidence and decide whether that decision was taken in accordance with the law
I await some of the commenters here to start howling that Begum’s ideology and her actions, as described by the various news outlets, showed no justice towards those she had in her power. There’s a very elementary point about what I expect from our society in its ideal form, and what I expect from hers which I can’t be bothered making.